Pocket Biases

Every cognitive bias.

Abilene paradox: A group of people will sometimes collectively decide on a course of action that goes against the preferences of many or all of the individuals in the group.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Affective forecasting: When we try to predict how we'll feel in the future about something, it tends to be similar to how we feel in the moment. There are several biases related to this, that affect our emotions and our thoughts, like impact bias, expectation effects, immune neglect, positive and negative affect, projection bias, focalism, time discounting, and projection bias.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Ambiguity effect: We choose options with more certainty in their predictions, even if is the certain option is likely to be worse.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐇 Do the safe thing
Anchoring: We rely too heavily on initial information offered (considered to be the "anchor") when making decisions, because everything we see after that is in reference to the anchor.
🧠 Helps filter information : 🌘 Notice the new and different
Anthropomorphism: We apply human qualities to non-human entities.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Apophenia: This refers to our tendency to mistakenly see patterns and meaning between unrelated things. It's a bit of a darker take on this topic than anthropomorphism, and is associated with schizophrenia.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Appeal to novelty: We think new things are somehow more valuable than the same thing that's older, even if that's the only difference amongst them.
🧠 Helps filter information : 🌘 Notice the new and different
Appeal to probability: The mistaken assumption that if something is likely to happen, it's definitely going to happen. Murphy's Law in an example of this.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Argument from fallacy: We think that if something is wrong about an argument, the conclusion of the argument must be false.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Armchair fallacy: We're more confidently critical about other peoples' work, even if we are less informed about the area of their work than they are.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Attentional bias: If we think about something we'll notice it more in our day-to-day. Often associated with habits. For example, if we try not to eat cheese we'll suddenly become obsessed with it.
🧠 Helps filter information : ⚡️ Accept what comes to mind
Attribute substitution: When we have to make a difficult decision about something, we'll often substitute it for a simpler problem that we can answer more easily.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Authority bias: We think the opinions of people who have authority over us are more likely to be correct. A variant, HiPPO, stands for "the highest paid person's opinion".
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐇 Do the safe thing
Automation bias: We tend to favor suggestions from automated decision-making systems and to ignore contradictory information made without automation, even if it is correct.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐇 Do the safe thing
Availability heuristic: When making decisions, we only consider the options that come to mind easily. Things that don’t, for whatever reason, are therefore at a severe disadvantage.
🧠 Helps filter information : ⚡️ Accept what comes to mind
Backfire effect: When confronted with information that challenges our beliefs, sometimes we reject the information and decide to believe even more strongly. This is most pronounced when we think the opposing view is trying to restrict our freedom by forcing us to change our mind. Also called boomerang effect.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Bandwagon effect: The rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Barnum effect: When we hear something vague about ourselves that's supposedly about us, we give it high ratings on accuracy. This can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some paranormal beliefs and practices like astrology, fortune telling, aura reading, and some types of personality tests. Also known as Forer effect.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Base rate fallacy: We usually don't consider how likely something is to randomly occur. For example, if having a certain illness is rare, false positives might be more likely than true positives.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Belief bias: The tendency to judge the strength of an argument based on the believability of the conclusion rather than the strength of the argument to support that conclusion. Especially when the conclusion supports existing beliefs.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Bias blind spot: We think others are biased, but are blind to our own biases.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Bizarreness effect: One of the things that can make something jump out at you is its bizarreness. The chances of a bizarre thing being relevant to you in the moment (either as threat or opportunity) is probably higher than average.
🧠 Helps filter information : ☄️ Amplify the bizarre
Bucket error: We will choose to ignore conclusions that we think are at odds with other related conclusions, even if they aren't related.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Cathedral effect: Working in spaces with high ceilings has a positive effect on creativity, and vice versa.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Change blindness: We have some ability to control what our brain is paying attention to, or watching for. However, it can only handle a couple tasks at a time, and becomes blind to other things that would otherwise grab our attention. A good example of this is that video that asks us to count how many times the players in white pass a basketball between each other, and we completely miss a gorilla walking through the group.
🧠 Helps filter information : ⚡️ Accept what comes to mind
Cheerleader effect: A very strange tendency for us to sometimes rate the attractiveness of people in a group higher than we would if we rated each individual separately. Also called group attractiveness effect.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Chesterton's fence: We sometimes avoid addressing problems because we assume they are there for good reasons.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Choice-supportive bias: When we do something, we like to stay loyal to those choices and come up with reasons why they were the right choice after-the-fact. Choice-supportive bias is the general tendency here, and post-purchase rationalization is a more specific version that applies to things we buy.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Clustering illusion: We tend to see clusters and streaks in data that's not really there.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Confabulation: We spontaneously create fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about ourselves and the world without intending to, mostly to fill in gaps in justification and reasoning. Sometimes known as false memory as well.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Confirmation bias: Our tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms our preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Congruence bias: Similar to confirmation bias, but applied to scientific experiments. We tend to only design experiments to confirm our hypotheses.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Conjunction fallacy: We'll think that specific conditions are more probable than a single general one, especially if the speciic conditions confirm our assumptions. Details give the impression that we aren't making it up. Also known as the Linda problem.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Conservatism: We don't seem to revise our past beliefs quite enough when presented with new evidence that contradicts it. Meaning, even after we've officially decided to change our mind about something, some parts of the old belief will still linger. Also called continued influence effect.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Continued influence effect: Even after we learn that something is incorrect, parts of the belief still remain intact.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Contrast effect: When two things are next to each other or come right after one another, we perceive an exaggeration of the differences between them.
🧠 Helps filter information : 🌘 Notice the new and different
Cross-race effect: The tendency to more easily recognize faces of the race that one is most familiar with (which is most often one's own race).
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Cryptomnesia: We sometimes think we've come up with something new and original when really it was a forgotten memory that returned without it being recognized.
🧠 Helps filter information : ⚡️ Accept what comes to mind
Cue-dependent forgetting: Sometimes we can't retrieve a memory or other information because we can't remember the context, or cue, that is required to pull it up. Also known as context effect and mood-congruent memory bias.
🧠 Helps filter information : ⚡️ Accept what comes to mind
Curse of knowledge: When you assume that everyone you're talking to has the same understanding of things that you do.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Declinism: A tendency to generally view the past more favorably and the future more negatively. Every generation thinks the next generation is ruining everything.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Decoy effect: If we're comparing a couple things, and then a third is added that is worse than both, we might change our preference about the first two to go with the one that so more obviously better than the decoy.
🧠 Helps filter information : 🌘 Notice the new and different
Defensive attribution hypothesis: When something bad happens to someone else, we come up with reasons why that would never happen to us (and why it did happen to them) in order to feel safer.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Denomination effect: We're less likely to spend cash that is in large denominations than small, even if the amount is the same.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Disposition effect: The tendency to hold onto investments that are doing well and sell those that aren't doing well.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Distinction bias: If we evaluate two things one right after the other, we’ll evaluate them as more distinct from one another than if they were evaluated separately.
🧠 Helps filter information : 🌘 Notice the new and different
Dunning-Kruger effect: Our tendency for those with low ability at a task to overestimate their ability more than people who have higher ability.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Duration neglect: When enduring a difficult situation, the duration of the difficult situation matters less to us than the peak and the end of the situation.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Effort justification: When we work for something, we end up valuing it more. Some people also refer to this as the IKEA effect.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Egocentric bias: We sometimes rely too heavily on our own perspective and have a higher opinion of ourselves than we'd have about someone else that was exactly like us.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Empathy gap: When we're angry, it's tough to for us to empathize with thinking that we'd have when calm, and vice versa.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Endowment effect: We value things that we own higher than we would if we didn't own them and were asked to buy it.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Escalation of commitment: Similar to backfire effect for a group. When a group is faced with negative consequences for a decision, sometimes it will cause people in the group to commit to those decisions even more strongly.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Essentialism: We tend to think that there is something essential about objects and ideas that they couldn't exist without.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Extension neglect: This covers the set of biases like base rate fallacy and insensitivity to sample size where we don't consider how the size of a set that something occurs within, even though that information does matter.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Extrinsic incentive error: We think other people are more motivated by extrinsic incentives (like money) than we are.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Fading affect bias: We tend to forget memories associated with negative emotions more quickly than memories associated with positive emotions. The result of this is that we think of the past more fondly than we did at the time we were experiencing it. Similar to rosy retrospection and declinism.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
False consensus effect: A tendency to overestimate how much our own opinions, beliefs, preferences, values, and habits are normal for others as well.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Focalism: When recalling the past, we exaggerate details that we happened to be paying attention to at the time. A kind of affective forecasting.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Framing effect: We’ll make different choices about information depending on if it is presented to us in the context of a loss or a gain. For example, if a medicine’s effect on a group of 600 people will result in 400 people living, we’ll be much more likely to choose it than if it is framed as resulting in 200 people dying.
🧠 Helps filter information : 🌘 Notice the new and different
Frequency illusion: When we first learn about something, we start to see that thing everywhere. For example, if you just learned about this illusion, it's possible that you'll start to see examples of the frequency illusion in lots of other places. Also known as the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.
🧠 Helps filter information : ⚡️ Accept what comes to mind
Functional fixedness: We tend to only use an object for its intended purpose. For example, if we need a paperweight, but only have a hammer, we won't always think to use the hammer as a paperweight.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Fundamental attribution error: When considering the character and intentions of other people, we work backwards from their behavior, even though we will explain our own behaviors by external circumstances. Also known as actor-observer assymetry and correspondence bias.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Gambler’s fallacy: We tend to think that if something is happening more frequently than normal during a given period, it will happen less frequently in the future (or vice versa).
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Generation effect: We remember information that we've created from our own mind more easily than information read.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Group attribution error: We tend to think people in a group will have characteristics and behaviors typical to the group.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Halo effect: We'll assume people that we like or otherwise think of as attractive are therefore good.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Hard-easy effect: We overestimate our ability to achieve difficult tasks and underestimate our ability to do easy tasks.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Hindsight bias: We think things that have already happened were more more likely to happen than things that didn't happen.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Hot-hand fallacy: If we're experiencing a lucky streak, we believe we have a greater probability of success in further attempts.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Hyperbolic discounting: We tend to value things that pay off immediately over things that pay off in the future. The value falls quickly at first, and then levels off for longer delays.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Identifiable victim effect: We tend to offer more aid when a specific individual is in need than when a group is in need.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
IKEA effect: We place a much higher value to things that we built ourselves. Similar to effort justification.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Illusion of asymmetric insight: We perceive our knowledge of others to be better than their knowledge of us.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Illusion of control: We think we're in control of external events more than we really are.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Illusion of external agency: When we rationalize a decision for whatever reason, we tend to also change the qualities of the things we made a decision about. For example, we'll attribute more positive qualities to a song after we decide that we like it.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Illusion of transparency: We think others know what we're thinking more than they do.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Illusion of validity: When we only have a little information about something we'll use it to predict the future with higher confidence than we should.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Illusory correlation: We think two things are connected and meaningful more often than they are.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Illusory superiority: We overestimate our qualities and abilities relative to how we estimate other people with the same qualities and abilities.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Illusory truth effect: When we see something repeated over and over again, we begin to believe that it's true.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Immune neglect: When we think of our future state, we don't take into account the impact of our defense and coping mechanisms.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Impact bias: We overestimate the length and intensity of events that we haven't experienced yet. A part of affective forecasting.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Implicit stereotypes: We will unconsciously attribute individuals of a group with qualities and characteristics that we believe the group to have. Also known as implicit bias.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
In-group bias: We favor members of groups we belong to (the in-groups) more than we favor members of groups we don't belong to (the out-groups).
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Information bias: We continue to seek out clarification and information even if it won't impact decisions or actions.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Insensitivity to sample size: We will assume that likelihood of things doesn't change as the sample size changes, even though there's more variability in a small sample size than a large sample.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Just-world hypothesis: We believe all good actions will be rewarded and all evil actions will be punished, which leads to the inverse as well: if someone is being punished, they must be evil.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Lake Wobegone effect: On average, we all tend to think we're above average.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Law of narrative gravity: We will prefer information that fits existing narratives.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Law of the instrument: If we have a tool, we'll fit the problem to be solvable by that tool. If you have a hammer, everything is a nail.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Law of triviality: When we're discussing options within a group context, we give disproportionate weight to trivial issues. Also known as Parkinson's law of triviality and bike-shedding effect.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐇 Do the safe thing
Less-is-better effect: A smaller, simpler proposal is preferred to larger, more complex proposals when evaluated separately but not when evaluated together.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐇 Do the safe thing
Leveling and sharpening: Our tendency to remove distracting details (leveling) and highlight key details (sharpening) when recounting an event that we want to fit a narrative.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Levels of processing effect: When we're trying to remember something, the depth of our attention during each memory-making iteration effects how well we remember it later. So it's not just about repetition, but about depth of processing at the time as well.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Loss aversion: If we have to choose between avoiding a loss or acquiring an equivalent gain, we'll value avoiding the loss higher.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Magic number 7+-2: The number of objects the average mind can hold at once in working memory is 7 plus or minus 2.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Masked man fallacy: If you believe Superman can fly, and you believe Clark Kent can't fly, then you'll believe that Clark Kent isn't Superman.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Memory inhibition: We tend not to remember details that we perceive as irrelevant. Sometimes called the Google Effect when related to looking things up online.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Mental accounting: We all have some way of doing mental calculations, but this is an umbrella term to think about them all together. For example, when buying something, we will account for both the price we paid and the difference between that and how much we think it's worth. The second thing gives our mental accounting a sense of "good deals" and "bad deals" but is subject to many kinds of bias.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Mere exposure effect: We tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. This is one way things like advertising can influence us by repeating a message that we don't agree with but become familiar with.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Misattribution of memory: Our ability to retrieve memories is affected by the conditions that we're retrieving them in, which obviously had nothing to do with the original memory.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Misinformation effect: Information we are exposed to after the fact can interfere with past memories.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Modality effect: How much we remember changes depending on our preferred learning mode and the mode that the information is presented. A simple example is how some people can learn better via visual information than auditory information, and vice versa.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Money illusion: People become anchored to prices rather than their purchasing power. This is why it's tough to raise prices even if inflation is moving up faster than prices.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Moral luck: We will assign more moral responsibility to a someone who happens to cause a good or bad outcome by some amount of chance than someone who does the same thing but where the good or bad outcome doesn't happen (also by luck).
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Murphy’s Law: We tend to attribute bad luck to a perversity of the universe that ensures that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. A subset of the appeal to probability fallacy.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Naïve cynicism: We think others are more selfishly motivated than we are.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Naïve realism: We think we see the world around us objectively, and that people who disagree with us must be uninformed, irrational, or biased.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Negativity bias: Even when two or more things have equal intensity, the ones with a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on our psychological state and processes than the neutral or positive things.
🧠 Helps filter information : ☄️ Amplify the bizarre
Neglect of probability: We don't understand the probability of risks very well when it's anything other than super high or super low.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Next-in-line effect: We don't remember things that happen right before we're expected to perform a public act.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Normalcy bias: We tend to underestimate the likelihood and effect of rare disasters.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Not invented here: We tend to prefer to build things ourselves than to use tools built by others before us.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Observer-expectancy effect: This is our tendency to prime our expected results into the language we use to communicate a question to others. Leading the witness, so to speak.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Occam’s razor: We like to believe that simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones. Also known as the law of parsimony.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐇 Do the safe thing
Omission bias: It is the tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions) because actions are more obvious than inactions.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Optimism bias: We think we're less likely to experience a negative event than other people.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Ostrich effect: The tendency to avoid information that we don’t want to hear.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Out-group homogeneity bias: We see people outside our group as being more similar to one another than people in our groups. "They're all alike; we're diverse."
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Outcome bias: We have trouble evaluating the quality of a decision after we know the results of it, even though they weren't known at the time the decision was made. Also known as the resulting fallacy.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Overconfidence effect: Our confidence in the accuracy of our judgments is consistently greater than the objective accuracy of those judgements.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Pareidolia: Our tendency to interpret a vague stimulus as something known to us, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, etc. A kind of apophenia.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Part-list cueing effect: Giving someone a partial list of things to remember will make them worse at remembering things not included in that list.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Peak–end rule: We judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak (its most intense point) and at its end, rather than based on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Pessimism bias: We exaggerate the probability that negative things will happen to us.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Picture superiority effect: Our memories are generally better at remembering images than words.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Placebo effect: If we think something is going to help us, we tend to report feeling better even if the treatment had no direct effect.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Planning fallacy: We tend to underestimate how long something will take. A version of optimism bias.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Positivity effect: When we like someone, we attribute their inherent qualities to their good behaviors and attribute external circumstances to their bad behaviors. And vice versa for people we don't like.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Post-purchase rationalization: When we buy something, we'll tend to value it more after the fact. A more specific version of choice-supportive bias.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Prejudice: An affective feeling towards a person or group member based solely on that person's group membership.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Primacy effect: We tend to remember things at the beginning of a list of things better than items in the middle or at the end, especially if asked to try to remember them. The hypothesis is that when we rehearse our memory, we'll practice items in the beginning more than the rest.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Pro-innovation bias: Our tendency to believe that a new innovation should be instantly adopted by everyone.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Projection bias: Our tendency to falsely project current preferences onto a future event.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Pseudocertainty effect: A tendency to think an outcome is certain even when it's not.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Publication bias: Interesting results are more likely to be published than boring results.
🧠 Helps filter information : ☄️ Amplify the bizarre
Reactance: A negative reaction we feel when we perceive that someone is taking away our choices or limiting the range of alternatives. Leads some to use reverse psychology to take advantage of this effect.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Reactive devaluation: We think something is less valuable if it's offered by someone we consider an antagonist.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Recency effect: We tend to remember things from the end of a list if asked to recall it before much time has passed.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Recency illusion: Our tendency to think that things we've just noticed have only been around for a little while.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Restraint bias: We think we're more immune to temptations, and have more self-restraint, than we do in practice.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Rhyme as reason effect: A saying or aphorism is judged as more accurate or truthful when it is rewritten to rhyme.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐇 Do the safe thing
Risk compensation: A theory that suggests we adjust our behavior based on the perceived level of risk. We are more careful where we sense greater risk and less careful when we feel more protected. This leads to a lower overall reduction in the effectiveness of added safety measures, since we compensate by becoming a bit more reckless.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Rosy retrospection: We see the past as more rosy in retrospect than we did as it was happening.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Sapir Whorf Korzybski hypothesis: We prefer explanations that are easy to articulate in our language.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Selective perception: An umbrella term for all of the different ways that we conveniently miss or quickly forget information that would cause emotional discomfort. Many specific versions of this listed below.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Self-consistency bias: We think our beliefs have always been the way they are now, even if they've actually changed.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Self-licensing: We give ourselves permission to do things we consider "bad" after we've done things we consider "good". For example, treating ourselves to an ice cream after going to the gym. Also called moral credential effect.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Self-relevance effect: We remember information more easily when it is in some way related to us.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Self-serving bias: This is a label for any bias that has the effect of maintaining or enhancing our own self-esteem.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Semmelweis reflex: An extreme case of ostrich effect that describes our tendency to flat out reject new evidence simply because it contradicts established norms, beliefs, or paradigms. Example: when it was first discovered that fatality rates dropped dramatically when doctors started washing their hands, this was rejected because doctors refused to believe that germs could be transmitted by hands.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Serial position effect: This is the name for the combination of the primacy effect and the recency effect, which basically add up to meaning that we remember things at the beginning and the end of a list better than the things in the middle.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Serial recall effect: We remember things in a certain order and need to use that order when recalling things.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💥 Seek take-aways
Social comparison bias: We don't like to be compared to people who we perceive are physically or mentally superior to ourselves.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Social desirability bias: Our tendency to answer surveys in a way that we think will reflect positively on us.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Source confusion: We sometimes confuse where a memory came from. For example, we might hear a detail from someone's story and then later think that we experienced it directly. A part of misattribution of memory.
🧠 Helps filter information : ⚡️ Accept what comes to mind
Spacing effect: We learn better when studying is spaced out over time.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Spotlight effect: We think people are paying more attention to us than they really are.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Status quo bias: We prefer that things stay the way they are rather than change, even if change would be for the better.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Stereotyping: We create generalizations of categories of people.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🔮 Fill in gaps
Subadditivity effect: We think things are more probably when considered individually than the sum of them would be considered as a whole. For example if we estimated the chances of dying via each of the natural causes separately, that would add up to more than if we just estimated the chances of dying from any natural cause.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Subjective validation: This is about how we require less proof about things that we already agree with, or that are interpreted as good news. This is a large contributor to why horoscopes work.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🦏 Protect existing beliefs
Suggestibility: We tend to accept the suggestions of others, and will even edit our memories based on those suggestions.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Sunk cost fallacy: Our decisions are tainted by the emotional investments we accumulate, and the more we invest in something the harder it becomes to abandon it.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Survivorship bias: When we try to figure out the cause of success, we look at things that have succeeded, but forget to consider the things that didn't succeed. They could have had many of the same qualities of the survivors, thus invalidating some of the conclusions you'd draw about their effectiveness if you only looked at survivors.
🧠 Helps filter information : ⚡️ Accept what comes to mind
Swimmer's body illusion: When we confuse selection factors for results. For example, we think if we start swimming we'll become like a professional swimmer. But in fact professional swimmers tend to be people who already had many of the traits needed to become professional swimmers.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
System justification: We desire not only to hold favorable attitudes about ourselveas (ego-justification) and the groups we belong to (group-justification), but also want to hold positive attitudes about the overarching social structure these groups are entwined and find themselves obligated to (system-justification). In other words, if a system is broken in some way, we assume it's broken for a good reason.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Telescoping effect: We perceive recent events as more remote than they are and distant events as more recent than they are.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Testing effect: If you're studying for a test, the best way to study is to do so in a testing context (like flashcards).
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Third-person effect: We assume that mass media affects others more than it effects us.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Time discounting: We value things in the present more than things in the future. A kind of affective forecasting.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🎱 Experience is reality
Time-saving bias: We overestimate how much time will be saved or lost by changing our speed.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Tip of the tongue phenomenon: That weird feeling of both failing to retrieve a word from memory, combined with partial recall and the feeling that you're going to remember it very soon.
🧠 Helps filter information : 💫 Depend on the context
Trait ascription bias: We tend to think we have more variability in behavior, thoughts, and feelings than others do.
❤️ Helps make sense • ⚔️ Be overconfident
Ultimate attribution error: Like fundamental attribution error but applied to groups. When out-groups behave poorly, or in-groups behave well, we attribute it to their intrinsic characteristics. And when out-groups behave well or our in-group behaves poorly, we do the opposite and attribute those behaviors to circumstances and chance.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Unit bias: Our strong preference to complete whatever we're doing before stopping or starting something else.
🖐 Helps get stuff done • 🐢 Stick with it
Von Restorff effect: Hedwig Von Restorff put a name to the phenomenon of how, in a list of things that have something in common, if one of them does not have that thing in common will be more likely to be noticed. For example, in this list: desk, “chair, bed, table, chipmunk, dresser, stool, couch” you are likely to notice and remember the chipmunk more than the others. Also known as the isolation effect.
🧠 Helps filter information : ☄️ Amplify the bizarre
Weber–Fechner law: Our ability to notice change in something is relative to the initial size of the thing changing. Small changes in small things, and large changes in large things. Applies specifically to some things (like sensing the weight, light intensity, and prices of things) more than others (like sound).
🧠 Helps filter information : 🌘 Notice the new and different
Well-traveled road effect: We estimate that travel time on frequently traveled routes will be less than our estimates of traveling on unfamiliar routes, even if they're the same distance.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧸 Favor the familiar
Zero sum bias: Our tendency to judge non-zero sum situations (where a win-win is possible) as zero sum situations (where someone must win and someone must lose).
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math
Zero-risk bias: We tend to prefer the complete elimination of a risk even when alternative options produce a greater reduction in risk.
❤️ Helps make sense • 🧮 Simplify mental math

Strategies

  1. 🧠 FOR FILTERING INFORMATION
  2. 💫 DEPEND ON THE CONTEXT
    Helps us filter information by overvaluing options that fit our current context or mindset (but undervaluing options that don't).
    12 biases
  3. ⚡️ ACCEPT WHAT COMES TO MIND
    Helps us filter information by overvaluing options that come readily to mind (but not even considering options that don't).
    8 biases
  4. ☄️ AMPLIFY THE BIZARRE
    Helps us filter information by overvaluing loud abnormalities that stand out (but undervaluing quiet things that blend in).
    4 biases
  5. 🌘 NOTICE NOVELTY
    Helps us filter information by overvaluing shiny new things (but undervaluing stuff that's been around a while and has lost it shine).
    7 biases
  6. 💥 SEEK TAKE-AWAYS
    Helps us filter information by overvaluing things that present themselves as take-aways (but undervaluing things that don't seem relevant in the moment).
    11 biases
  7. ❤️ FOR MAKING SENSE
  8. 🔮 FILL IN GAPS
    Helps us make sense by overvaluing how things conform to perceived generalities (but undervaluing how things differ from perceived generalities).
    24 biases
  9. ️🧸 FAVOR THE FAMILIAR
    Helps us make sense by overvaluing things that we associate with (but undervaluing things that we struggle to associate with).
    34 biases
  10. 🎱 EXPERIENCE IS REALITY
    Helps make sense us by overvaluing stories that match our experiences (but undervaluing stories that don't match our experiences).
    19 biases
  11. 🧮 SIMPLIFY MENTAL MATH
    Helps make sense us by overvaluing things of extremely high or low probability (but undervaluing things with probabilities in the middle of the spectrum).
    18 biases
  12. ⚔️ BE OVERCONFIDENT
    Helps us make sense by overvaluing our ability to control everything (but undervaluing the interdependent nature of things).
    11 biases
  13. ✋ FOR GETTING THINGS DONE
  14. 🐢 STICK WITH IT
    Helps us get things done by overvaluing the status quo (but undervaluing a shift in direction).
    12 biases
  15. 🦏 PROTECT EXISTING BELIEFS
    Helps us get things done by overvaluing winning (but undervaluing learning).
    15 biases
  16. 🐇 DO THE SAFE THING
    Helps us get things done by overvaluing agreement (but undervaluing learning).
    7 biases